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Diary

Exquisite Paris + a Farewell

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

Sometimes it is in retrospect that we find the hidden gems of meaning in why certain things happen in our lives. It is often like this in travel as well. Days, months, sometimes years after I have embarked on a journey, I come to know more fully what the real gift in that adventure was for me. But Paris.....Paris was not like this. In the exquisite richness and details of the streets of Paris, I was gifted with the blessing of gratitude; gratitude for all my life experiences up to now. I realized a lot about myself and about my life, and deepened my appreciation for the details of my life's journey. All in the backdrop of the beautiful details of Paris.

For me, the above watercolor is a celebration of just this. I enjoyed painting this door handle several times. When I fall in love with a subject I often paint it more than once. The second time I painted it, I enjoyed some of my new Daniel Smith watercolor tubes. (If you are an artist and would like to know the colors I used, simply message me). Something so simple as switching out some familiar colors with new ones, can lead to such excitement and renewed creativity in the studio. I highly recommend it to all painters!

I also wanted to share that I will be closing my open edition prints shop, to focus on offering originals, commissions, and limited editions. These are prints for sites throughout Italy, including Venice, Sicily, & Pompeii, and also Morocco & Spain. If you are interested in collecting watercolor prints of these sites, for your home, or as gifts the link to view is:
 

I may offer open edition prints again at some point, but for the foreseable future I will be saying farewell. 

Also a reminder that I  am  currently offering gift wrapping for the holiday season, with your order, which may be purchased here.

Until next year, I wish you and yours a wonderful and most joyous holiday season! I will look forward to sharing more of my art and travels with you in the new year :~)

Paris Art + Your Travel Memento

Sophia Khan

Work in progress watercolor of Saint-Chapelle, Paris. copyright © Sophia Khan

Work in progress watercolor of Saint-Chapelle, Paris. copyright © Sophia Khan

The above work in progress watercolor is of the beautiful royal Saint-Chapelle in Paris, situation on the ile de la cite, not too far from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. This Gothic style chapel has a series of stunning stained glass windows, all depicted biblical themes, and meant to be read sequentially as a story.

One of the joys of traveling alone is that one can do exactly what one wishes, without having to worry about boring a fellow traveler. One such thing that I did, was return to this lovely chapel after having my lunch, so that I can take another look at a space I was in awe of.....This watercolor, of the exterior, is being painted with colors partly inspired by the vibrancy of those stained glass windows. It may be close to complete, as I often say that a watercolor for me is just as much about what is said as it is about what is left unsaid....

On another note, I wanted to share that I will be opening up my studio doors, to take on a limited number of commissions for the upcoming holidays. :~) These custom watercolors, which are Fine Art Travel Mementos, are perfect to gift a loved one for whom travel holds a special place in their heart and life. Current pricing begins at $470 for an 8" x 10". More info can be seen by clicking on the image below:

Paris Delight

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

I have returned from my creative exploration of Paris, and oh what a wonderful time it was! (To see some of the art that I made while I was there, have a look at my Instagram here).

More than seeing the city through the lens of an artist, I saw the city as an explorer; an adventurer seeking distant lands that I had only previously read and dreamed about. Although I am an Italophile and always love traveling throughout Italy, this year I decided to explore a country and city I had never visited before.

And to my delight, Paris had many secrets awaiting for me. I remembered the parts of myself and my life that I love the most, namely my curiosity and sense of wonder, the joy I experience through freedom and adventure. And in Paris, I celebrated each and every one of these.

Every day was a delight, filled with beautiful vistas, exquisite cuisine, and joyful synchronicities. Everything reminded me of how fortunate I am to be able to travel to all these wonderful places and do what my heart so longs to, and deepened my sense of gratitude.

And of course, I so enjoyed my painting and drawings sessions, and taking in all the beautiful sights through either memory or photographs, so I have plenty of Paris inspiration for when I return home.

I am also excited to share that the above watercolor, which celebrates the joy and wonder I experienced in Paris, is for sale as an original ~ $370 + shipping (complimentary in the US). Simply contact me through my 'connect' page if you are interested in acquiring it.

Pescheria, Venice Fish Market

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper, copyright © Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper, copyright © Sophia Khan

The play of light as it hits the surfaces, textures, and moods of timeless architecture is something I have been exploring in my studio. There is no better city to indulge this than Venice. And so I started with the above watercolor of the Pescheria, or Fish Market. My memories take me to a time when I had visited the market. It was in the afternoon and so it was all emptied out, with me being the only person there. I felt like a had a part of Venice all to myself. There were some wonderful views from within this space, looking out onto the Grand Canal, and the surrounding palazzi. But what I am interested in capturing most is how the light and the city spills into the otherwise dark space of the fish market and creates a picturesque sense of chiaroscuro.

Your Paris Art Experience

Sophia Khan

felipe-dolce-51636.jpg

"Paris is the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes."
Henry James

I am so very excited to share that my next creative sojourn will be to the City of Light ~ Paris!

It's going to be quite a special trip as the majestic Architecture of Paris was something that has intrigued me since childhood, and also because I will be celebrating my birthday there :~)

Although I have dreamed far and often of finding myself in Paris, this will be my very first time visiting, and I am so looking forward to how the city will inspire my art. As I often do when I travel to new places, I will be letting go of preconceived notions of what I want the city to look and feel like. I will be looking to wander far and often into places away from the tourist crowds to find my own special corners and delights within the streets of Paris.

And I am very excited to share that I would love to invite you to become a part of my creative process. Once I return home to my studio, I will dedicate myself to capturing my very first impressions of the city and its romance, as a series of watercolors. I am excited to share that I will be offering these watercolors for pre-sale, to share my love for Paris, my soon to be new muse, with you.

For all the fun details, and to reserve your Paris watercolor, see the link below:

Samples of Venice Watercolors

Samples of Venice Watercolors

Persian Dawn, Persepolis

Sophia Khan

Persian Dawn, Persepolis ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

Persian Dawn, Persepolis ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

As I lovingly painted the ancient ruins of Persepolis in Iran, or Persia, as seems more befitting for this subject, I pondered the following question: What makes historic cities, monuments, and ruins capture our interest? Why do we travel to see them? 

My hunch is that it is partly this: All our lives, we hone that which makes us unique. We are told that what makes us different from others, is also what makes us special. While this is beautiful and true, there is another side to our nature, which these places allow us to uncover. In our everyday lives, we celebrate our unique qualities. And then, when we travel, I believe it is these historic cities, monuments, and ruins that allow us, for a moment, to have a glimpse of feeling connected to a past much larger than ourselves.

And it is within this past, that we truly are truly able to celebrate and deepen the appreciation for this very moment that we occupy in time. When we return to our everyday lives, we are enriched with this sense of having been part, even if just for a brief moment, of the magic of this past which can almost feel eternal, and can also feel collective.

This is one of the many ways in which travel enriches, nourishes, and feeds our spirit. It is one of the many reason why I enjoy travel so. The deeper the history, the more vibrant the past, the more colorful my experience of being there and the more it has to offer me.

I am excited to share that the above watercolor, which celebrates these very things, is for sale as an original ~ $370 + complimentary shipping in the US. Simply contact me through my "Connect" page.

Watercolor Still Lifes

Sophia Khan

Watercolor Still Lifes ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

Watercolor Still Lifes ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

I am exciting to be sharing my new collection of still life watercolors. These watercolors are painted from life, from direct observation of the subject. They are explorations into the lure of the beauty that surround us in our everyday lives. Both evocative and simple in their aesthetic, my aim was to capture their essence and a sense of gratitude around these simple luxuries.

This is the first set of new watercolors I am sharing, and am excited to be offering for sale as originals. See below to view this new collection.....

Poetic Still Lifes

Sophia Khan

Watercolor Still Lifes ~ from left to right: Apple, Radish, Turnips

Watercolor Still Lifes ~ from left to right: Apple, Radish, Turnips

It may have been a long time since I've written last, but a lot has been stirring in my creative world nonetheless. :~)

I took some time away from my usual subject ~ Architecture & Monuments inspired by my travels ~ to take a look within my own world, my own daily life to see what inspiration I can find right there. Within those quite contemplative corners, I spent time observing my life, observing its simplicity, observing the beauty and the poetry of everyday moments. 

And so it is with great joy that I share a small sneak peak at a new series that I will be launching soon. And for the Architecture enthusiasts, know that I haven't turned away from painting monuments, in fact I am currently painting a new Venetian scene. However, this new series is very near and dear to my heart and my creative process, and I hope that you will enjoy the resulting watercolors, which I will be sharing soon in my next post and newsletter.

Until then, I hope you have been savoring the new year, and that your own journey within it is full of delightful surprises. 

Merry, Joy

Sophia Khan

An intimate moment at the Caffe Florian, Venice

An intimate moment at the Caffe Florian, Venice

Merry, joy, let there be light
A prayer for birth, a prayer for rebirth
closer to beauty
closer to strength
to hope, to mystery, and the journey ahead

Wishing you a most joyful and festive holiday season, and much beauty, love, and warmth for the new year ahead, from my corner of the world to yours!

With my warmest regards and heartfelt gratitude, and looking forward to sharing the new year with you ~ 

Xx
Sophia

The Frari, Venice Watercolor

Sophia Khan

Because she dreamed, she created doors
Because she believed, she unlocked them...

Portal of the Frari, Venice
© Sophia Khan

The above two watercolors are of a portal at the beautiful church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which I painted while in Venice. One of the things I loved about this church is crossing the threshold between city life and reflective life as signified in the brief moment of encounter, at the doors. These doors celebrate the entrance into a blessed and sacred space and like with any doorway, I love the symbolism within them: a passing through, a leaving behind of the old and of what no longer serves us, of entering into a new beginning, of entering into....a mystery.

This church was located a few steps from the hotel that I was staying at. And so I passed it often. It became, like any city monument, a sort of grounding place, a point of reference, and also a place of celebration, a place to pause and to take in the majesty that is before me. There were certain hours of the day when locals would pass by the surrounding square, and so I managed to enjoy some people watching as I did these paintings. 

I am excited to be offering these original watercolors for sale, for $300 USD each + shipping. If you would love to own one or both, simply email with me through my 'connect' page

Below are some images of the lovely church interior, along with my sketches: